Helpful Advice For The Nervous Public Speaker
Public speaking ranks right up at the top of most peoples’ list of fears. Speaking publicly means all eyes are on you, and can lead to feelings of helplessness and exposure. You may feel as if your peers are judging you. Overcoming these fears can be difficult, but here are a few helpful tips to aid you.
Plan your presentation ahead as much as possible. You should have a general plan of the ideas you wish to discuss, and the order in which you are going to discuss them. If you are creating a presentation with documents or slide show presentations and wish to project them onto a screen, a small investment in the latest computer rental could give you the reliable computer you need without the large capital outlay.
In addition to preparing the material you are presenting, a quick check of the room in which you are presenting can help you to spot problems before they rear their heads in the middle of your presentation. You will want to arrive at the presentation early to make sure all of the technological equipment is working properly. Also, a little familiarity with the room can go a long way towards helping you relax during your presentation.
Know Your Audience
It’s easier to speak in front of a group of friends than a group of strangers. Of course you don’t have time to form long-lasting bonds with your entire audience, but greeting each of your guests as they arrive and speaking with them for a few moments beforehand can relax both them and you.
Don’t Expect To Be Perfect
You should realize and accept that accidents, mistakes and missteps along the way are going to happen when you’re giving your presentation. Nobody is perfect and you don’t want to beat yourself up over every little slip. Should a slip up occur, don’t dwell on it as it could lead to further mistakes. Instead of agonising over a misspoken word or incorrect fact, acknowledge it, correct it if need be, and move on to your next point.
Eschew Rote Repetition
A successful public speaker should learn the arts of improvisation and paraphrasing. A strong knowledge of your material can help with both of these. Few public speaking engagements go perfectly well and improvisation can help you fill in the gaps or answer questions you might be unprepared for. Armed with a strong knowledge of your subject matter, you will be able to improvise and compensate for almost any situation or problem that might pop up along the way.
Chances are, you want to keep your audience engaged and focused on the subject at hand. Reading word for word from a script or other prepared document can add a bit of dryness to your presentation, causing the audience to tune out. If you know your subject well enough, you should be able to discuss it in a much more natural and unaffected manner. This is where paraphrasing comes in, allowing you to put your own personal twist on the presentation material and making it seem less like you are reading from a script, and more like you really know your stuff.
Don’t Be Nervous About Your Nervousness
Your presentation is a form of performance, and almost every performer gets a bit of stage fright before their moment in the spotlight. Being nervous is a result of adrenaline coursing through your body, and the best public speakers know how to use that energy and transform it into an enthusiastic, charismatic performance.
The downside to being nervous is that it can become a vicious cycle. As your doubts and fears begin to take form in your head, this can lead to even more self-doubt and fear. Instead of concentrating on how nervous you are, visualize the performance you want to give and make it happen.
Good Luck Out There
These tips should be of great help to anyone speaking in front of an audience. Good luck out there, and remember to do your best, breathe and have fun with it.
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